Tony Harvey is far from a major name in college hoops. The same goes for Texas Southern. TSU is a member of the SWAC, which means it typically exists near the bottom of the sport's competitiveness totem pole. It has much different end-game goals than most college basketball programs. These are the facts of SWAC life; chances are even most die-hard college hoops fans couldn't name one SWAC coach. Until the play-in games in Dayton, it's out of sight, out of mind.
So what makes Harvey noteworthy on this fine post-Fourth Thursday? At a very strange time in the college hoops calendar, and after a relatively successful four-year tenure at Texas Southern, Harvey announced late Tuesday his decision to step down from his position.
But wait ... why? Harvey won't say, or at least he won't be more specific than "personal reasons." From Fox 26 in Houston:
"It's hurtful and it's disappointing, but the visions have to be shared and we're just not on the same page with some things," Harvey said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.
"So it's probably best for both parties to separate at this particular time." [...]
"I think the reasons in due time, I think they'll come out and then they'll get addressed," Harvey said. "I think I ran a first-class program, Mediocrity wasn't something I wanted to settle for."
Palace intrigue in the SWAC? I never thought I'd type those words, but yes: This is palace intrigue in the SWAC. Why would Harvey jump ship now, almost halfway through the college basketball offseason, as most programs are gearing up for recruiting?
In any case, Harvey leaves after four pretty solid years -- he went 58-72 overall, which is not bad in the SWAC -- culminating in a 2011 NIT bid, the school's first postseason appearance since 2003. He also leaves Texas Southern no doubt scrambling for a replacement at a rather inconvenient stage of the offseason. A SWAC coaching search won't be as hotly followed as most coaching vacancies, but it nonetheless requires the school to find a coach well after most coaches are willing to leave old jobs to take on new ones. It should be interesting to see this one play out.